The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch reviewed

The Hanging Tree Book Cover The Hanging Tree
Peter Grant / Rivers of London
Ben Aaronovitch
November 1, 2015

Another gripping and hilarious adventure through the secret streets of London. A tour of what remains and an insight into what once was with a liberal sprinkling of folklore, myth and violent crime. Each of Ben Aaronovitch's previous Peter Grant novels have been Sunday Times Top Ten HB bestsellers and The Hanging Tree looks set to repeat the feat. The Hanging Tree was the Tyburn gallows which stood where Marble Arch stands today. Oxford Street was the last trip of the condemned. Somethings don't change. The place has a bloody and haunted legacy and now blood has returned to the empty Mayfair mansions of the world's super-rich. And blood mixed with magic is a job for Peter Grant. Peter Grant is back as are Nightingale et al at the Folly and the various river gods, ghosts and spirits who attach themselves to England's last wizard and the Met's reluctant investigator of all things supernatural. Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

I’ve arrived at this party a little late! The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch is the 6th book in the “Rivers of London” series and I’d not read anything by this author before. The idea of combining a police story with some fantasy set in current day London appealed to me and I was intrigued as I started reading this book. I did find it took me a little while to get into style of writing and the magical jargon to start with. The story as a whole revolves around Peter Grant, policeman and (magic) practitioner, and crime. Assorted river gods put in appearances as to some “baddies” who have featured in previous stories.

Initially it was not easy to get to grips with the magical aspects of the storyline, either relating to the actual magic or the practitioners. However coming into a series part way through that is not really surprising. Once I had got into it I found it very entertaining. The book is well paced for me. There is a very dry, flippant and frequently dark humour in the writing which suited me well. I’d be happy to recommend this series to anyone who likes the idea of it. However I would suggest starting with the first book maybe. The ongoing nature of the series appeals to me.  I certainly aim to get and read the first one when I get the chance.

Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review